For many years, C. William Keck, M.D., served simultaneously as an academic leader at NEOMED (then NEOUCOM) and the director of health for the City of Akron Health Department. The emeritus professor and former director of NEOMED’s Division of Community Health Sciences has now published Working Together…On Collaboration. In keeping with the book’s title, Dr. Keck co-authored the book with his wife, Ardith Keck, and with David Kettlewell, an author who is a former news correspondent and television and radio producer. The co-authors also involved a cast of more than a dozen colleagues to develop a volume dedicated to collaboration in service of improving the health of communities.
In the book, Dr. Keck offers generalizations about the importance of collaboration and some of the principles he has learned through the years from personal experience in leadership positions in public health—including chairing the Public Health Foundation’s Council on Linkages between Public Health Academia and Practice since 1998 and past appointments as president of the American Public Health Association and The Council on Education for Public Health, which accredits schools and programs in public health. Dr. Keck also provides concrete examples of successful and unsuccessful collaborative efforts and lessons learned from these experiences.
Through interviews, contributors to Dr. Keck’s book discuss their own notions of, and experiences with, collaboration. These interviews provide insights from a variety of leaders in public health and others concerned with improving education and services. Through the new publication, Dr. Keck aims to offer current and the next generation of leaders, community health workers and students with advice and guidance for building strong collaborative partnerships to promote the health and well-being of all.
--Paul Hartung, Ph.D., a professor of family and community medicine, contributed this article.